- Bear Grylls, the outdoor adventurer and survivalist, has joined the upcycled snack brand Goodfish as a co-founder. The company produces crisps from reclaimed wild Alaskan sockeye salmon skin with 80 calories, zero carbs and 10 grams of clean protein per serving.
- Grylls’ addition to the team "significantly amplifies and strengthens our growth, which means our impact" by increasing the brand's exposure and spreading its mission to bring awareness to preserving the ocean’s fisheries and ecosystems, co-founder Justin Guilbert said. Since March 2020, the brand has upcycled 238,611 pounds of salmon skin.
- Upcycled ingredients are big business, with the market for food waste worth an estimated $46.7 billion in 2019 and expected to grow at a 5% compound annual growth rate over the next decade. It provides a lucrative opportunity for established players and startups to repurpose ingredients and create products that cater to consumers' sustainability concerns.
Goodfish is the brainchild of Harmless Harvest coconut water co-founders Justin Guilbert and Douglas Riboud, and Errol Scheizer, the former vice president for grocery at Whole Foods Market, making it a small brand backed by CPG veterans. Now with Bear Grylls on the leadership team, the brand is positioned to make a bigger splash on the snacking scene.
"We found the final missing piece in the founding team. Bear is a globally respected brand who lives and breathes what we stand for, and we are committed to delivering on our promise,” Guilbert said.
Grylls is an advocate for the wilderness and preserving nature. Having an association with a prominent personality that aligns with its values can bring legitimacy and attention to a brand that may otherwise get lost in the sea of CPG companies big and small touting upcycled ingredients.
Tyson Foods, for example, has created protein crisps from leftover chicken trim, vegetable puree and pulp from juicing, and spent grain. AB InBev's Anheuser-Busch operation is investing $100 million in a subsidiary that repurposes used barley in food and beverages.
While upcycled products can be popular, they are not always successful. Tyson discontinued its upcycled chicken crisps in 2019 after they failed to gain enough traction. However, food waste continues to be a global problem, and many consumers are willing to spend more to purchase sustainable products.
Beyond sustainability, Goodfish's positioning as a better-for-you, functional snack is also on trend. Snacking was accelerated by the pandemic, and protein-focused options are particularly popular. Meat snacks have proven to be of major interest to consumers looking for healthy alternatives, although most products are made from familiar meats like beef, chicken, pork and turkey.
In general, fish protein is seen as a healthier and more sustainable protein choice than meat or poultry, according to a survey from sustainable seafood company Blue Circle Foods. At the same time, the Blue Circle survey showed that consumers have significant concerns about mercury contamination, ocean pollution, seafood mislabeling and sustainability.
Goodfish is looking to tackle some of these concerns. By promising 100% traceability in its products as well as contributing to making the fishing industry much more environmentally friendly, the brand is aiming to integrate thriving, sustainable fisheries into the functional snack space.